Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who’ve supported and raised us from day one! To pay homage to all the mothers out there, we here at Hong Kong Dance Moms would like to share our love of movement and dance by showing you some mindful mommy movement exercises to give your mind and body a break.
Wherever you might be, hop into something comfy and take a seat to begin your five minutes of mommy merriment! Follow along with our video and let our fantastic demonstrator and professional dancer, Abigail de Waal lead you through the movements.
It’s all in the Wrists
After a long day of errands, office work, or years of raising a family, mothers carry the weight of the world in their hands, wrists and arms. It’s important to mobilise, strengthen and stretch these muscles and joints as we start to age.
1) Catch and Release: Lifting one hand in front of your shoulder, use your other hand to grasp your fingers around the wrist of the lifted hand. Close your lifted hand into a tight fist and then open your palm wide, repeating this sequence 3-5 times. Make sure to repeat this on the other side as well.
2) Round and Round Again: Stretch your arms straight in front of your shoulders and open your palms wide. Circle your wrists three times one way and then three times the other way.
3) Infinite Interlace: Interlace your fingers, and press the palms together to bring them in towards your chest. Create an ‘infinity’ or ‘figure of 8’ motion with your wrists one way 3-5 times, and then repeat this the other way.
Shoulders were made to Shimmy
When you’re under stress or carrying heavy loads, those mommy shoulders can quickly become mummy shoulders that get stiff and sore when they should be relaxed and free to shimmy.
1) Shoulder Cat-Cow: Place your hands on your knees and roll your shoulders back. Begin to cave your shoulders in and then reverse this by opening them out towards the back. Finish the sequence with a shoulder roll from front to back. Then reverse the sequence, and repeat this 3-5 times.
2) Why so serious?: Let’s not take ourselves too seriously! Shimmy your way down to place one hand on your opposite thigh and rest your elbow on the adjacent thigh. Press away from your leg by unfolding your free arm to the ceiling. Fold back in and repeat this sequence to the other side. Complete this sequence 3-5 more times.
The House of your Brain
They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, which must mean that the crown of our head is the roof, and the head and neck must be the structure that houses our brain. We often forget to address the tension that we carry in our face, head and neck, so let’s have a ‘housewarming party’ and bring some love into this house.
1) Opening and Closing: Sit up with a lengthened lower back, and keep the shoulders relaxed to create space between your shoulders and ears. Interlace your fingers, keeping the palms open and the thumbs untucked. Place your hands behind your neck at the base of your skull. Point the thumbs down and press them into your neck. While using your hands to pull up the head, press your head into your palms and your palms into your head to create resistance. On the inhale feel the sides of your back open and expand. On the exhale allow everything to relax. Repeat this sequence 3-5 times.
2) Nod of Approval: Look up on a high diagonal, but not directly at the ceiling, allowing your head to follow. Look down to tuck in your chin. Circle your head one way around. Repeat this sequence the other way. Do this 3-5 more times.
Please those Knees
In the thick of this rainy season, many of us start to feel tenderness and pain in our knees. Let alone the fact that your knees carry the weight of the hips, torso and upper body, mothers also have to carry the weight of their children. So please those knees, by practicing these non-weight bearing exercises.
1) Adding oil to the Knees: Either remain seated on a chair, or roll out a mat and bring yourself to the floor to sit up with your legs straight out on the mat. If you are on a mat, place a yoga block or a rolled up towel under one knee. Extend the leg and then relax. If you are sitting in a chair, then keep both feet flat on the floor and extend one leg and then relax. Repeat this 3-5 times and then change over to the other side.
Adore your Ankles
It’s important to keep those ankles strong, stable and healthy, especially if you’re a mommy in stilettos. Aside from treating yourself to a chic new pair of heels, remember to also adore your ankles by working on your ankle strength and stability.
1) Ballet Toes: Extend one leg straight in front of you if you are seated on a chair. If your are seated on a mat, extend both legs in front of you. Flex your feet, pressing energy out the heels. Pointe your feet, lengthening under the toes. Repeat this 3-5 times. If pointing and flexing one foot at a time, make sure to do both sides!
2) Ankle Waves: Return to your extended leg position, and flex your foot. Wave your foot inwards towards your center and then wave your foot outwards away from your center, creating a slight scooping action. Repeat this 3-5 times on both sides.
3) From your extended leg position, flex your feet and circle one ankle slowly three times in one direction and repeat the same with the other ankle. Make sure to circle your ankles in the other direction as well! too!
Now that you’re ready to slay the day, enjoy the treats that come your way, whether it’s a bouquet of flowers, a coupon book of hugs, or just spending quality time with your loved ones. On that note, we here at Hong Kong Dance Moms wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day!
Venue: Twinkle Dance Company
Instructor: Abigail de Waal